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California authorities crack case of 42,000 pounds of missing pistachios; one man arrested

2 years 8 months 1 week ago Tuesday, June 22 2021 Jun 22, 2021 June 22, 2021 6:03 AM June 22, 2021 in News
Source: BBC News

TULARE COUNTY, California - A man accused of stealing a significant amount of pistachios has been arrested, according to the BBC News

The case of the missing snack food unfolded earlier this month in Central California's Touchstone Pistachio Company, and for some time, it proved to be a tough nut to crack. 

When an audit was conducted, the Terra Bella-based company discovered that 42,000 pounds of pistachio nuts were missing. 

Local agriculture detectives partnered with Tulare County Sheriff's deputies to track down the alleged nut thief, who was later identified as 34-year-old Alberto Montemayor.

The BBC reports that deputies located the pilfered pistachios Saturday, tracking them down to a tractor-trailer in a local parking lot.

Police said Montemayor had been planning to resell his looted cargo.

According to the police, he was planning to move the food from its original 2,000 lb sacks into smaller bags for resale. 

The remaining pistachios were returned to Touchstone and Montemayor was booked into a county jail.

Nut theft of this sort is fairly common, according to BBC News.  

The news outlet notes that thieves often disrupt nut distribution by pretending to be truck drivers, stealing the product, and then selling it off as their own to retailers.

But farm industry leaders are fighting back. They've taken measures to protect their product, by photographing and thumb-printing truck drivers and requiring roadside sellers to have valid business permits.

It's estimated that between 2014 and 2017, the industry lost over $7 million to thievery, according to CargoNet.

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